Conscious, soulful, uplifting, even healing—that’s how many fans of Root Shock have described the band’s infectious sound and energy. With a reputation like that, it’s unsurprising that this group is indebted to reggae, a class of music forever married to love, humanity, social change, and an almost tangible sense of sunlight. But Root Shock didn’t form on a beach. Instead, they came up in snowy Syracuse, New York in 2012, and since then, they’ve developed a voice that transcends genre.
Spearheaded by the acrobatic, powerhouse vocals of Jessica Brown, the Root Shock sound is at once commanding and cathartic, but never at the expense of a velvety, carefully placed jazz or neo-soul lick. When he isn’t complementing Brown’s pipes with his own earthy vocal turns, Phil Grajko gets weird on the guitar, seamlessly moving from chop chords to girthy riffs and spellbinding solos colored by Latin, prog, and psychedelic rock textures—often in tandem with mad keyboard genius Brian Lauri. Rounding out the band, bassist Bill Eppel and drummer Tyre Outerbridge make for a formidable rhythm section fluent in patterns ranging from dancehall to ska to heavy dub style and funk.
In 2016, Root Shock released a self-titled album, produced by Jason “Jocko” Randall at More Sound Studio, and followed that up with the “Many Paths” EP in 2018 & the Waves single in 2019. These recordings are proof of the band’s democratic songwriting process, with thoughtful lyrics from Brown and Grajko that invoke hope in dark times, warn against injustice, and imagine a future in which all are free and equal and united by music.
Today, Root Shock is bringing their renowned live show to clubs, festivals, and concert halls across the Northeast and beyond, delighting audiences from all walks of life with a positive message and danceable tunes.
Root Shock Is…
Root Shock saves the world – J.Teirney, music Blogger
“Root Shock have something that other bands don’t always have, a mission, a point of view that trancends the notes played by the incredibly talented players on the stage. To see Root Shock is to put your soul in their hands, and know they will enrich it, and lovingly return it to you, so you can do the same to others…
…I have been to hundreds of shows in my life, that’s what I do and there are some that at the end of the night where I am exhausted from the shared express of energy that some shows require from an audience, that exhaustion is thrilling. But there are some more rare shows where I feel energized, refreshed. Root Shock always leaves me energized, refreshed and more positive of spirit ” – Read More
Syracuse Post Standard
“A big draw at local venues, Syracuse’s Root Shock releases its first record” – Read More
Syracuse Post Standard
“The six-piece kicks it old school dub style at one moment, with traditional one drop chops reminiscent of King Tubby and Bob Marley himself — but the beauty’s in the addition of lead vocalist Jessica Brown, a bona fide soul powerhouse whose acrobatic runs give the band a real edge. No wonder their name is Root Shock” – Read More
Finger Lakes Music Press
“… a lot to love. The first time I saw this band out of Syracuse was their first foray into Ithaca a couple of years ago. I was immediately impressed by how smooth, integrated, and comfortable they were, together on stage and with the crowd. The music was sophisticated but completely accessible – an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable set[…].” – Read More
“Root Shock immediately took the stage, sustaining the audience’s animation and radiating energy with a snappy, high-powered performance. Jessica Brown seared ear drums with a spicy heat that seduced a crowd, amorously applauding her howling mid-song vocals.” – Read More
“Root Shock takes the crown as the winner of NYS Music’s state-wide 2017 March Madness. Root Shock brought their fanbase together to propel them to the top,” – Read More
“…be advised: powerhouse frontwoman Jessica Brown is a wolf (or fox?) in sheep’s clothing her sweet and humble stage presence is contrasted sharply by her raw, riveting, fiery sound that is sure to get you out of your seat.” – Read More
Purchase our first album here:
We waste our energy
To win this war against our enemy
We’ve got to believe
Free our mind from captivity
Father, Spirit and Love, the Trinity
Power and strength from the Almighty
All nations will sing
Ooooh, my soul
All people, come alive, come alive
There’s poison in our water and food
Earth ripped apart at her roots
Sons and daughters stand up for the truth
United we grow